Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Caddie Woodlawn

Here's a quote from Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink, which I read aloud as part of our homeschool curriculum this year. It was one of my favorite books growing up and my daughters enjoyed it, too. It is based on a true story and takes place in Wisconsin in the mid-1860's. If you haven't read the book, Caddie is a young girl (about 11, I think) who was permitted to pretty much grow up as a tomboy running "wild" with her brothers. She had a sister who was sickly and died when she was younger, and her father thought that she might grow up to be healthier if she was allowed to run outside in the fresh air with the boys rather than have to stay in the house doing "girl" things all the time. But, then one day, the children were rude to a visiting cousin and Caddie got into more trouble than the boys. She was sent to her room without supper. After she had been there for several hours her father came to her room to talk to her. I loved what he had to say to her:

"Perhaps Mother was a little hasty today, Caddie," he said. "She really loves you very much, and, you see, she expects more of you than she would of someone she didn't care about. It's a strange thing, but sometimes we expect more of girls than of boys. It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman's task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It's a big task, too, Caddie--harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things. They have them just as much as the men who build bridges and carve roads through the wilderness. A woman's work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man's. But no man could ever do it so well. I don't want you to be the silly, affected person with fine clothes and manners whom folks sometimes call a lady. No, that is not what I want for you, my little girl. I want you to be a woman with a wise and understanding heart, healthy in body and honest in mind..."

Saturday, March 1, 2003

Mission Impossible, Double Jeopardy Geocache

This geocache was the most fun I've had since my... ahem! 9 visits... to Camo Art 2 last summer! I was walking, but I noted the parking coordinates and assumed I was in the right area. About 500 feet out I saw a group of agents near the destination. So I hung back watching to see if they were on our side or if they were enemy operatives. They acted very much like agents, but I couldn't be sure. As they turned to leave and came toward me I was able to ascertain their identity because they were carrying appropriate agent apparatus, very similar to the one hanging around my neck! As they approached I decided to flat out ask them if they were enemy operatives. They were not... and turns out this was only the 2nd cache for some of and they were skunked! So I offered to team up with them and they headed back with me to look some more. It took quite a bit of climbing around and looking under and over and all around... as is usual with niskibum's caches... but at last a team member located the communication kit. So we were able to note the next set of coordinates. After that we split up again as they were headed to get some lunch. I set out for WP 1 and located the appropriate area but did not find any clues. I had to abandon the mission for today as I had an appointment to get to. I will need to assemble my own team (I was working alone today) and return to finish the mission at another date.